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Entrepreneurs

Lillian Nassau

Lillian Nassau, the doyenne of New York City antiques dealers, was instrumental in the revival of international interest in the lamps and metalwork created by Louis Comfort Tiffany at the turn of the century.

Carmel Myers

Carmel Myers acted in over seventy films, was an early television talk-show host, led a production company that packaged radio and television shows, held a patent for an electronic synchronizer that controlled studio lights, and imported and distributed French perfume. In a Hollywood that encouraged assimilation, she never denied she was Jewish.

Marion Simon Misch

Marion Misch participated in a great number of volunteer activities through her lifetime, all the while running a successful business following the death of her husband. Her primary interests centered on education and Judaism, and her volunteerism reflected her concern for these issues.

Abigail Minis

Born August 11, 1701, Abigail Minis was a businesswoman and landowner known for her support of the Revolutionary cause.

Ellen Lehman Mccluskey

Ellen Lehman McCluskey, a firm believer that quality design is a result of close communication between architect and interior designer, built her own design firm into a business with national, international, and professional respect.

Etta Wedell Mastbaum

Etta Wedell Mastbaum was the scion of a prominent nineteenth- and twentieth-century Philadelphia family. A philanthropist, department store executive, art collector, and director of a national chain of motion picture theaters, Mastbaum donated a collection of Rodin sculptures and ephemera to the city of Philadelphia.

Lane Bryant Malsin

Lane Bryant Malsin was a fashion entrepreneur and pioneer in the best sense of the word, long before Donna Karan or Liz Claiborne. She pioneered niche marketing and mail-order merchandising, as well as innovative work practices and progressive advertising.

Mary Ann Cohen Magnin

Energetic, stubborn, with an outstanding intuition for business—this was Mary Ann Cohen Magnin, the founder of I. Magnin and Company. Until her death at age ninety-four, Magnin took an active interest in the stores, which specialize in exclusive women’s clothes. Mary Ann Cohen, the daughter of a rabbi, was born in Scheveningen, Holland, in 1850. She immigrated with her parents to London, England. On October 8, 1865, in the Great Synagogue in London, she married Isaac Magnin, born in Assen, Holland, in 1842, a carver and gilder. They had eight children: Samuel, Henrietta, Joseph, Emanuel John, Victor, Lucille, Flora, and Grover.

Judith Leiber

“Hitler put me in the handbag business,” Judith Leiber recalled in Enid Nemy’s book, Judith Leiber: The Artful Handbag. She was born Judith Peto in Budapest, Hungary, on January 11, 1921. Her well-to-do parents, Emil and Helen Peto, originally planned that she make a fortune in skin creams. Instead, she enrolled in the Hungarian Handbag Guild as its first woman member. Judith, her older sister Eva, and her mother survived the Nazi occupation of Budapest by staying in a building designated for Jews and then in a house set aside for Swiss citizens. Her father, an Austro-Hungarian who managed the grain department of a bank, obtained a pass for himself and forged the words “and family,” using the same typewriter used to issue the pass.

Estée Lauder

Estée Lauder’s name connotes beauty and healthy skin through her profitable cosmetics lines: Estée Lauder, Clinique, Aramis, Lauder for Men and Prescriptives. An astute businesswoman, she made a fortune manufacturing, marketing and distributing cosmetics to women around the world.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Entrepreneurs." (Viewed on December 29, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/entrepreneurs>.

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